Videos

QuadHands Helping Hands

Flexible steel arms

Tools (Recommended):
QuadHands Helping Hands with PanaVise Mounting System

PanaVise 301 2-1/2″ Light Duty Multi-Angle Vise with Stationary Base K42480

PanaVise 203 Pv Jr. Vise Head With 5/8 Inch Shaft For 300 Series Bases

Transcript:
Hi, I’m Sean Michael Ragan, and you’re watching Cool Tools. If you’ve ever done any soldering you probably recognize this classic “helping hands” tool. It’s got two little adjustable arms with spring clips at their ends which can be used to hold a pair of leads together more-or-less securely during soldering, leaving your hands free to put the heat and the solder where they need to go. And these things work well enough for that purpose. But they’re fiddly to use, not super stable, and generally don’t play well with other workholding tools in more complicated setups. QuadHands is a US company, based in South Carolina, that takes a different approach to solving this problem. Instead of jointed arms, their system uses flex-shafts with supermagnetic bases that can be repositioned anywhere on a powder-coated steel base plate. Thumb nuts at the tips allow you to turn the clamps to whatever angle you want, then lock them in place, and the magnetic bases make the arms potentially useful in lots of other workholding situations. They sell a whole ecosystem of these products ranging in price from fifteen to fifty-five dollars, as of production, but I chose this one because it’s designed to mount the base of a three-hole mini-vise in the middle of the plate. They had the PanaVise system in mind when they designed it (especially the model 300 and 305 bases) but in fact any three-hole-pattern mini-vise with a chord length between 2-5/8″ and 3-3/4″, like this Dremel 220076 D-Vise, will work. I’ve only been using this system for about two weeks now but it has already transformed not just my soldering work, but also the way I use my mini-vise, because the steel baseplate is big enough and heavy enough, and the feet underneath are wide enough apart, that I’ve been able to permanently de-mount the vise from my benchtop, and can now move it around freely to use in other locations. It’s also really handy to have that corner of the bench free for other purposes when I need the space. OK, thank you for watching. As always you’ll find affiliate links down below the video; if you’ve seen anything here you like, please do check those out, as well as our blog and our podcast over at cool-tools.org. We’ll see you next time.

-- Sean Michael Ragan 11/24/20